Items to Bring on a Float Trip

Taking a float trip can be an exciting and enjoyable way to spend your time this summer. After making your reservation for American River floating, you are probably wondering what you should pack for the adventure. It’s a good thing to ask! This trip won’t be like anything else you’ve done, so having the right items is essential. Here’s what you should bring on your float trip.

Waterproof River Shoes

You may be in the water in California, but you are going to need something more on your feet than flip flops or slip-on shoes that you find in retail stores. The river is full of rocks and slippery surfaces, and to ensure that you don’t fall and injure yourself or hurt your feet while on the bank, it’s advised that you get some good waterproof shoes.

You’ll want to look for shoes that have bottom support and good tread. It’s possible to find sandals from brands that specialize in outdoor shoes, but if you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money, you might consider wearing an old pair of tennis shoes. Pick a pair that you won’t mind throwing away. After being in the river, you won’t be able to use them for anything else.

Camp Shoes

In addition to the right water shoes, you’ll also want to bring some other shoes to wear around camp. Since wet shoes can be uncomfortable and hiking boots take forever to lace up, you might consider bringing some slippers that have a sole or even a pair of sandals that you keep in your dry bag.

Lotion and Sunscreen

Since you will be exposed to the California sun while doing American River floating, you’ll want to make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s water and sweatproof. You don’t want your sunscreen to get washed away.

In addition to sunscreen, you might also consider bringing regular lotion or aloe vera. Either can be incredibly soothing if your skin does get burned by the sun or you have dry skin and blisters from rowing.

Extra Plastic Bag for Wet Clothes

Your guide will more than likely have a dry bag for all the items that need to go on the raft, but it’s also a good idea to bring some extras—just in case. A kitchen trash bag can work for this, but bringing a bag that can be sealed is a better option.

This will ensure that all of your clothes stay dry during the entire trip. It’s also a good idea to take your wet items out at the end of the day so they can dry. If you don’t, you risk smelling less than pleasant for the remainder of the trip.


You might think that a towel is going to be the best option when it comes to American River floating, but bringing a sarong is the better option. It’s not as bulky, which means that it won’t take up as much space, and it can be used for a variety of different things. It can be a towel, a blanket to sit on, a skirt or headgear. 

Getting Ready for the Trip

In addition to bringing the items on this list, you might also talk to your guide to see what they recommend. They’ve been doing this for a while, so they probably have some advice on what items will be useful on float trip. Don’t forget the most important item: your sense of adventure.


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